Oh ew, are those… spiders?

Another good chunk of writing in! Seems like I’m getting all my productivity milestones in before Camp NaNo even gets started. I can’t complain though. If I can find a way to finish this piece and maybe my other WIP, I’ll be one happy writer. Did this over lunch and then had a few hundred words to get in this evening, which turned into over a thousand hehe. I end up getting into scenes and forget to break for air occasionally.

By the way, caffeine withdrawal is sooo annoying. I guess I kind of indulge my caffeine intake over the weekend so when the work week comes around, and I’m back to herbal tea, water, and soy milk, headaches start returning. I sometimes mistake it for allergies, but this time I’m 90% certain it’s caffeine withdrawal. Still plan on staying clear of it though. Something about working out and trying to be healthy followed by massive caffeine intake just never sits well with me. I guess it’s kind of heresy to be a writer AND a programmer and attempt to steer clear of caffeine though, right?

Moving into the final confrontation, but I’m in no rush. The climax will happen when we get to it, and in the meantime I’m having a fabulous time with the character complexities. Nothing like rubbing your protagonist’s nose into his woes before a major battle, right? What was it I recently read in Hooked?

“Basically, get your protagonist in a miserable place and then make it worse. Get the character up a tree (in trouble) and throw rocks (obstacles) at him. Don’t let him off the hook for a second.”

I think I’ve been taking this advice to heart with this story, much to the annoyance of Colton. He’s been in many trees and survived a slew of rocks, and the book hasn’t even gotten to the worst part.

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 45,467
New words written: 2,559

Progress in Story: Preparations are made, an amusing trip across town, followed by a disturbing discovery. Then it’s down to Goblin Town.

Total Words for 2012: 57,990

Snippet*:

“I – I don’t remember these being here when I helped you get dressed.”Mary smiled, arching an eyebrow, “Sounds like you two were using this as your vacation spot. Got to say you could’ve chosen a better place.” She side-stepped a large black spider that was hanging directly in front of her. Colton was amazed she wasn’t shrieking in horror. He thought about saying so, but then thought better of it. Words like that might go to her head.

“You were pretty out of it, kid. I was surprised you had the energy to find a costume for me,” he emphasized the words for clarity. “Don’t start telling lies about me now.”

Rennick nearly walked chin-first into the spider that Mary avoided, and gave a meek little gasp before moving around it. “You know, maybe being outside wasn’t so bad after all.”

It’s good to know what you’re hunting

This writing train just keeps on churning forward, and I’m having lots of fun along the way! Plenty of words added in today, over 2.5k which I’m very happy about. Started writing around 1:00 and ended close to 5:30. During that time I got a ton of words in and plenty of research as well. Luckily Kelley has a bunch of books on the paranormal and the occult which I’ve been able to pull for research purposes. As far as other inspiration, here are a few that have really been helpful.

How the Wild West REALLY looked – Beautiful sepia-tinted shots from the late 1800s. Really gives you a feel for how vast and empty the west was, and helps me get a feel for the place and the people who live there. See that picture on the right? Those tiny white dots on the bottom are tents. Yeah, it’s that freaking big.

What did cowgirls wear? – A few interesting pictures and descriptions of women’s clothing during the 1800s. More importantly, it talks about what women wore who needed to ride horses all the time. I was fascinated to see that up until the late 1800s, if women *had* to wear pants so that they didn’t have to ride side-saddle, they wore them beneath long ankle-length skirts so that they could keep their decency. Women who wore even split skirts in the late 1800s were considered brazen.

Ghosts and Spirits – This research is probably the most telling of what I’m working on in this section of the story. I found the section labeled Demons in the Occult to be the most useful though and I was surprised to find it mixed quite nicely into the world I’ve already been crafting in this story. Unfortunately this write-up is full of spelling errors and grammatical headaches (hello, run-on sentences!), but if you can try to look past that, the information that’s given is actually quite interesting. It even goes into Time Slips, other dimensions, and how that might play into interpreting the paranormal world. I find that sort of thing intriguing, especially since it’s at the crux of another novel I’m working on.

As you can see, today’s work took quite a bit of research and maybe you’ll find some of this stuff as interesting as I did, but there was also quite a bit of character fun mixed in as well. A couple of characters in particular just can’t seem to be able to stay in the same room for ten minutes before breaking out into another argument. You’ll understand why that’s in italics when you read the entire book too. Promise.

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 42,908
New words written: 2,689

Progress in Story: Some new clothes get purchased and more detailed plans get made. We also learn how inexperienced our experts are, but get a bit more information on the creature. They’ve even planned out how they’re going to get rid of him, but we’ll see how well that works out. As you could probably tell from yesterday’s snippet, Mary doesn’t seem to think they know much more than she does. Guess they’ll have to wait and see who’s right.

Total Words for 2012: 52,489

Snippet*:

Colton sighed, “One thing I’ve learned is that you need to know what you’re hunting before you get on the saddle and head out. Rabbits and quail are two completely different animals, and you need to know what to expect. So let’s try and figure out what kind of creature he is. How long has he been doing this? How strong is he?” He grabbed a couple of pieces of pork and nibbled on them.

“He’s been doing this a long time,” Rennick crossed his arms behind his head. “And I do mean a long time. I’d guess maybe a hundred years? Two perhaps? He’s definitely one of the strongest I’ve ever heard about.”

* You could probably tell this is the censored version. Don’t want to give too much away after all. 😉

Something like a plan

Got an excellent chunk of writing in over the past couple of days! Between lunch yesterday and this evening, I ended up squeezing my word count over 40k finally. Went out to lunch with Kelley today, which we try to do every Friday when I work from home, and got a good amount of planning in. After that, I feel like I have a much better grasp of where my villain comes from and why he does these (horrific) things. In the end, he’s almost a sympathetic character in his own right, but I’m tossing thoughts back and forth as to how much of his back story I want to include. At the moment, our protagonists are still trying to figure out what it is exactly that they’re up against, and they’re pretty much grasping at straws.

A monkey wrench also got thrown into the plot the other day, which I’ve been battling with as to whether or not it ought to stay. After some deliberation and talking with Kelley about how it changes the story, I’ve decided to leave it. Sometimes randomly tossed monkey wrenches can make things run smoother, right? Good. I’ll just keep telling myself that then.

On to word metrics for the day! I’m hoping to get a bunch more writing in this weekend as well. I know that Camp NaNo is coming up next week, and if I can finish up this piece around the time that that’s starting up, maybe I can work on both WIPs. I know, wishful thinking, but a girl can dream, can’t she? 😉

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on beneath the farmhouse?

Current total words: 40,219
New words written: 3,570

Progress in Story: Colton realizes something that may change the entire dynamic between him and his two friends. Plans are (kind of) made, and an awkward night commences.

Total Words for 2012: 49,800

Snippet:

Rennick was watching him so closely, he might have been staring at something behind him. “I’m not jealous or anything, if that’s what you’re so worried about.”

He gave a nervous laugh, “Didn’t think you would be. Not with how often you see women.”

“And men,” he smirked.

“And men,” Colton sighed, realizing how much more comfortable life had been when the man was passed out in a shack. “I wanted to let you know that she can’t come with us, even if she wants to. You’ll have to back me up on that.”

Rennick’s smile faded, “I agree. She’s a good shot, I know that much, but it’ll take more than that to take on this creature.”

“How much more?” Mary crooned, stepping out from the threshold. “You boys may not think I’m cut out for this line of work, but I’m involved whether you want me or not. Question is, you want me to have company while I go hunt down that monster child, or do I strike it out alone?”

Colton and Rennick were dumbstruck for a full minute before Colton finally rallied his tongue, “It’ll be dangerous, Mary. I don’t think you quite understand what we’re dealing with here.”

“And you boys do?” She laughed, taking a drag on her cigarette as she glared at each of them. “Seems to me you two are just as lost in this work as I am. Is it normal to be going around town blind and searching for scraps of food? Or is that just part of some grand scheme?”

Maybe you need to be the one lying down

Long time no see! Writing has been an off and on project for me for the past few days (weeks?), but I’m getting back into the swing of things. My excuse? Yard work! My weekend has been full of it. A good portion of our back yard is on the edge of the woods and is simply full of vines, a few of which would make some excellent Tarzan vines. My dad could put his full weight on one without it ever budging. The downside is that I ended up getting eaten up by mosquitoes over the weekend, and had my first encounter with ticks. Who the heck decided it would be good for those things to live in trees, huh? I swear I’m still dealing with phantom itching after that!

In other news, at work our main website finally went live! *cheer!* Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s probably not a big deal to most folks, but it’s a huge weight off my shoulders for a bit. I’m not too crazy about having to go home and work some more on a project only to wake up the next day and hop right on the horse again. I can do that for a few days but after a week of that, I begin to feel burn-out. It’s amazing how that sort of mental fatigue can easily cut into your creative juices. At the end of the day, I could barely concentrate on my WIPs. Thank goodness we’re coming up to a three-day weekend!

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on in the farmhouse?

Current total words: 36,649
New words written: 4,266

Progress in Story: To be fair, this is progress over several days here. Though I think I got around 2k in for today. Our folks have a disturbing run-in with a creepy kid and Colton finds himself having conflicting emotions about a certain someone. Sometimes his emotions do fly like a roller coaster, and I’m literally just on for the ride. It’s the quiet guys though, they tend to have those rip-tides going beneath the surface.

Total Words for 2012: 46,230

Kin Slayer

Whew! The work week hasn’t wanted me to get a nugget of writing updates in. I’ve been squeezing in a few words here and there, but I think tonight’s been the first in a few where I’ve gotten some time to really spend writing. It’s a bit later than I normally like to close up shop, but that’s the price you pay for your writing. I’ll get up like a zombie in the morning to do my regular run and then crash at the end of the day. Really hoping the weekend hurries up and gets here.

In other news I’m planning my Pathfinder campaign this weekend. We’re doing kind of a round robin DMing where everybody gets a turn to run their own mini-campaign within the constrains of the world. So far it’s pretty fun! I’m planning this one to be a longer one (ie. 3 weekends in length) so I’ve been having to squeeze in time to plan that in addition to my regular writing time. I love working on both, but unfortunately can’t do them at the same time. Every time I work on one I feel guilty about the other, and vice versa. They’ll both get done, but in their own time apparently.

Enough of my sleepy ramblings though. On to word metrics!

Project: Ghosts of Pikes Peak

Summary: The old, abandoned Davis Farm just outside the bustling city of Pikes Peak is riddled with malicious spirits. Werewolf detective Colton Fen has been assigned to a half-vampire partner, Rennick Dalton, to handle the troublesome ghosts, but even their combined strength may not be enough to dissuade the poltergeists from plucking victims from the outskirts of town. Is this a simple case of ghost infestation or is there something far more malicious going on in the farmhouse?

Current total words: 32,383
New words written: 2,708

Progress in Story: A new character rears her head and adds in a refreshing bit of contrast to our regular guys. She arrives just in the nick of time as well.

Total Words for 2012: 41,964

Snippet: Colton is just not having the best of days.

His face collided with the dirt, and he sputtered against it while he fought the dizziness. A weight was brought down on his back and his arms pulled up behind him, bringing his head unwillingly up. A man crouched down in front of him and held his chin up to face him.

“You will be our message to the agency. This city belongs to us, kin slayer! Your head will stand as a warning to others like you.” The man pulled something from his belt and held it against his neck. Colton tried to struggle away from it, but a second weight came down on his legs to hold him still. He felt a stab of pain as the blade dug into his throat.